Nine more people have been arrested across Morocco as the hunt intensifies to uproot the Isis cell responsible for the beheading of two Scandinavian hikers.
It follows the detention of four suspects in the gruesome killings which took place in the early hours of Monday, bringing the total number or arrests to 13.
The multiple arrests took place in Marrakech, Essaouira, Sidi Bennour, Tangier and Ait Baha in the centre of the country.
During the raids, electronic equipment was seized alongside an unlicensed hunting rifle, knives, binoculars, torches, a telescope, military vests and materials for manufacturing a bomb.
A suspect is arrested by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) in coordination with the Royal Gendarmerie and national security services in Marrakesh
Another suspect is detained as part of the investigation carried out after finding the dead bodies of two foreign tourists in the region of Chamharouche (Al Haouz Province)
The developments appear to confirm fears that the attack was planned by a wider Isis network operating in the country, which has not seen a terror attack on westerners since 2011.
Meanwhile pictures have revealed the squalid house of one of the terror suspects accused of the Scandinavian women’s murders.
Images show the dilapidated house of Younes Ouaziad, one of four men held over the murders of Dane Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, in the Atlas Mountains.
Family members say the 26-year-old, who lived in grinding poverty at his father’s home in the El Azzouzia district of Marrakesh, had repeatedly refused to get a job – even after his wife had a miscarriage.
The obsessive hunter became intensely ‘jealous’ of his wife after he turned to religion, his wife added, forbidding her from leaving the house alone.
Younes Ouaziad (pictured) is one of four men held over the murders of Dane Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, in the Atlas Mountains
The obsessive hunter became intensely ‘jealous’ of his wife (pictured) after he turned to religion, his wife added, forbidding her from leaving the house alone
Images show the dilapidated house of Younes Ouaziad, one of four men held over the murders of Dane Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, in the Atlas Mountains
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (left) and her friend Maren Ueland (right) were murdered in Morocco by suspected ISIS terrorists
The illiterate and unemployed father-of-one had recently become religious and was ‘brainwashed’ by his ISIS handlers, his brother, who refused to be named, said.
Ouaziad, arrested on a bus along with three others yesterday, lived at the property along with his wife, daughter, sister and her baby.
Speaking at their home, Ouaziad’s family and friends spoke of their shock, painting a picture of a devoted family man who was chronically workshy and vulnerable to radicalisation after he turned to religion.
His father said: ‘On Sunday night, police came to my house to investigate. I swear on my daughter, I was so shocked that I couldn’t stand up on my legs. My wife has not left her bed since it happened.
‘You can ask all the neighbours, my son was a good boy and nice to everybody. He always prayed on time and treated people well. I just don’t know who brainwashed him.’
His wife, who asked not to be named, said that the only problems in the marriage were that Mr Ouaziad refused to work and was jealous of her.
The illiterate and unemployed father-of-one had recently become religious and was ‘brainwashed’ by his ISIS handlers, his brother, who refused to be named, said. Pictures show the inside of his home
Yesterday, Mr Ouaziad’s father described how he asked him for a blessing before leaving to allegedly commit the grisly murder
She said: ‘We were always fighting because he refused to get a job. Also, he doesn’t let me go out. I don’t have the right to go out alone.
‘If I want to go out, he has to be with me. Wherever I want to go, whatever I want to do, he has to be with me.
‘He isn’t even that religious. He is just jealous, that’s it. I’ve never seen him being abnormally religious. He was praying the same as everybody else.
‘But we have been married for four years and he’s never treated me terribly. What happened shocked me. It destroyed us.’
In an interview yesterday, she revealed that Mr Ouaziad was an obsessive hunter and refused to find work even after she had a miscarriage.
The suspect’s sister showed reporters around the modest house today, pointing out where her brother slept.
‘My brother bought a house but we had financial problems and he sold it,’ she said.
Online footage has emerged showing four men suspected of launching the attack pledging their alliance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. One of them can be seen brandishing a knife
A picture has emerged showing a series of large knives found on a bus when the suspected killers were arrested
‘He helped us with the money. I always get sick, I have a condition, and he helped us. He was always helping me.
‘I never saw anything religiously extreme with him. It’s lies, all lies. He’s only ever done good things. My brother comforts me whenever I cry and he always tells me to remember faith in God.
‘He says we are brother and sister so his things are mine, if I don’t have something and he has it, he will give it to me.’
Clearly emotional, she added: ‘This thing has shocked me a lot. I can’t believe that it happened. Don’t tell me that my brother did all this. I don’t believe it is true.’
A childhood friend, who asked not to be named, added: ‘We grew up together in the same neighbourhood. We spent our childhood together, studied together. He was always a normal person.
‘Then, when he became religious, those cells exploited the fact that he is illiterate, and his poverty. Or maybe they promised to give him money if he did an attack.
‘We don’t want things like this to happen in our society. We are supposed to be better than this.
Yesterday, Mr Ouaziad’s father described how he asked him for a blessing before leaving to allegedly commit the grisly murder.
The suspect said he was looking for work in the southern town of Dakhla when he actually went into the mountains to commit the alleged crime.
The father said: ‘I said if it is for a job, I am happy for you to go. God bless you. He kissed my head and he asked me to pray for him.
‘I told him, may God give him all the good things you want and may God bless you.’
It comes as a fifth suspect was arrested by Moroccan counter-terror police investigating the beheading of two Scandinavian hikers in the Atlas Mountains.
The man, identified as father-of-six Abd el Atif, 50, supplied wood to one of the four suspects currently in custody, who worked as a carpenter.
He was snatched by heavily armed police at his workshop last night and bundled into a van before being driven away.
Abd el Atif is a devout Muslim who never made eye contact with women when he worked in their houses, one of his neighbours said.
But his wife and one of his daughters, who did not want to be named, claimed that he was innocent and lived a simple life.
‘I was married to him since I was 15 and I’m now 41. He was always nice, there was never anything bad about him,’ his wife, who was dressed in a full niqab, said. ‘He was just supplying wood to the suspect.’
His daughter, dressed in a beige niqab, added: ‘He is a good man. We were shocked when they came to arrest him. He was working in his shop. Now we are worried that they might arrest my brother too.
‘My brother is out of town. We are all very worried about him.’